I know it’s been a few days, but I haven’t had the time to post and this is pretty important. A few nights ago Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez was pulled from the 2nd inning of a game after lazily jogging to a ball he had booted into the outfield. Crappy video below:
Hanley offered up a pretty lame excuse about being hurt after fouling a ball off his leg in the first inning but no one believes that. He looked fine right up until he booted the ball into left. It wasn’t until the next day that the sparks really flew.
“It’s his team. He can do whatever,” Ramirez said, mixing in an expletive. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
“That’s OK. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues,” he said.
“We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls,” he said. “They don’t apologize.I wasn’t trying to give up,” Ramirez said. “That was the hardest I could go after the ball.”
Eeeeeshhh. I like Hanley Ramirez. He’s got loads of talent and he’s a fun player to watch. He was clearly loafing it on this play. That happens-I don’t like it-but it happens. One of my favorite players ever, Andruw Jones, got pulled in the middle of an inning after pulling up on a ball he could have caught. The difference was that Jones got the message and never let it happen again.
Hanley…well…didn’t get it and those comments were the results. What his manager Fredi Gonzalez did was 100% correct. He absolutely should have benched Ramirez and waited for him to apologize to his teammates before putting him back in the lineup. I just can’t stand the inability to admit that he was jogging on the play. It looked like he was running for a bus that he knew was going to wait for him. You know the courtesy run, everyone does it. Imagine if you were pitching in that situation.
Anyway, I was on my way into the ballpark yesterday morning and I was listening to Mike and Mike on the radio. This isn’t a normal thing to me, since I love my iPod and its music but there are no good radio stations in St. Louis for me to do that. No, I’m not bitter. Regardless, Mike and Mike were discusses what might have caused Hanley’s relative indifference to the play. They called up Herm Edwards and Buck Showalter at different times and both of them said the same thing which was some like, “It’s not Hanley’s fault, it’s the fault of whoever coached him in the low levels of the minors.”
That seemed odd to me. I think it goes back much farther than that. Hanley was probably always the most talented kid on the diamond and so he never had to work for anything. If he jogged after a ball it was no big deal because he was still better than everyone else. In fact, it may even go back as far as his parents not telling him to hustle on every play. But still, some of the blame has to Hanley. He has to know that he should sprint after that ball. It should be ingrained in his mind. While he was jogging, runs were scoring. Runs, either scoring them or not giving them up, are the ultimate goal of the game.
In the end, it just baffles me that something like this can be an issue. I realize they’re getting paid millions of dollars so motivation is a problem but come on. You’re getting paid millions of dollars to win. Loafing doesn’t help your team win.
This post didn’t really go in the direction I expected it to because I got off on a tangent. I realize that I just rehashed what everyone else thinks, but still, I’m leaving it because it annoys me that someone can have so much talent an not try when there are millions of people who would love to have that much talent. Either way, don’t throw your manager under the bus when you do something wrong.